Don’t look for Apple’s new iPhoto app to come to the traditional Mac operating system. It’s developed in Cocoa and takes advantage of the Quartz graphics in Mac OS X so it’s Mac OS X only. There are no plans for a Mac OS 9.x version, John Santora of Apple told MacCentral.
The “missing link” in digital photography is part of a trend you can expect to see continue. Several developers at this week’s Macworld San Francisco told MacCentral that their future applications would be Mac OS X only — or would at least have features that will accessible only via the new operating system.
iPhoto — which is designed to make it easy to import, edit and print digital photos, as well as organize and manage an entire photo collection containing thousands of photos — is available as a free download. Santora said that the application completes Apple’s digital hub.
“The popularity and quality of digital cameras are now rivaling that of film cameras,” he said. “The problem is that most digital camera users aren’t sure what to do after taking photos.”
iPhoto is designed to change that. You can use to it to view photos in full-screen, cross-dissolved slide shows accompanied by music; create custom Web pages of your images; e-mail pics to others; order professionally-processed Kodak prints and enlargements online; or build and order (online) a custom-printed, linen-covered hard bound book of photographs.
Plug your digital camera into a Mac — via USB or FireWire — and iPhoto automatically imports, catalogs, stores and displays the photos on screen. Once you’ve imported the images off your digital camera, the app offers you the chance to erase images from the camera’s flash memory via an onscreen dialog.
If some of iPhoto’s features sound similar to those of Mac OS X’s Image Capture app, they are — in fact, the new app uses Image Capture. And though iPhoto, when installed, becomes the default app for handling digital images, Image Capture is still available by itself. You can even make it the default app for photos through the System Preferences.
You can enlarge or shrink images on your Mac by dragging the mouse. Individual shots can be viewed in greater detail for cropping. Or you can shrink images until hundreds of photos fit onto your computer display simultaneously, allowing you to scroll through myriad shots to find the one you’re looking for. You can also use iPhoto to organize photos into digital albums, as well as add names, comments or keywords to favorite photos.
iPhoto has a preserve feature. You can edit your photos, but always return to the original, if you’d like.
With one mouse click, you can view a full-screen photo slide show of your pics, even adding music if you prefer. And, as mentioned, you can e-mail photos, export photos to other applications, or automatically create and publish a custom Web page of photos on Apple’s iTools HomePage Web site. You can also import still images from sources other than your digital camera into iPhoto. Plus, you can save a slideshow as a QuickTime movie.